Common sense on RV's tires and brakes.

We all know before taking a trip, to check tire pressure and lug nuts.

It's not rocket science.

I had picked up and 2011 39 foot 5th wheel for a friend from the DEALER.

It was supposed to have been prepped and inspected etc, prior to delivery to the customer.The so called 200 point safety inspection.

I did the walk around, tires looked good and I assumed the lugs were tight,because the check sheet said they were torque to specs. I hooked up,, pulled forward and made sure load and hitch was secured.

About 70 miles down the road, the trailer felt *funny.  A little more sway then seemed normal. I found an exit with a rest area ,so I pulled off, and realized, I don't think the trailer brakes are working very well, because it was making the truck lurch as I was braking and slowing down,, and just before comming to a stop, I applied *trailer brakes only and nothing,,, so I hit the truck brakes pretty hard and about lifted the trucks rear end off the ground,, but I got it stopped. I got out and did a walk around the trailer and the tires were cupped,jagged and all around tore up. Apon further investigation, I noticed several lug nuts missing off each wheel. (This RV had 3 axles = 6 tires at 6 lugs each).

The tires destroyed themselves from wobbling as each of the lug nuts worked themselves off the lug bolts.

Another thing that bothered me was the NO trailer brake thing.

I crawled under to look at the axles and brake wiring,, Guess what I found?  Yup, There was the wires hanging out of each hub, but they all were capped off with wire nuts, NOT EVEN wired into the wire harness.  Ok,, I can improvise,,, this isnt a big deal to fix. I started off with front axle and got one drum wired in, ( I had a spool of 16 guage wire to run new bake wire harness). Onto the second,middle axle,, found a big problem,, Bearings and race destroyed and NO brake pads, just electric brake actuator.,, Ok then,,, leave center wheel off,, I can cripple it into a town. Now onto the 3rd axle, Yup. bearings fried, and NO brake pads, just the actuator. I put the hub back on ,yes,,, even with fried wheel bearing.  Now lets check other side. Front was good as far as wheel bearings, had brake pads, BUT, just laying inside the hub assembly,, can you say destroyed drum lining?. No brake actuator but a pigtail wire wrapped up nicely with a cute blue zip tie.

Brake pads removed, tire put back on with 3 lug nuts. Second tire,middle,,, Bearings fried, no brake shoes or actuator, and another nice pig tail of wire with blue zip tie. No tire in the center again.

Now onto the third tire,,, broke a lug bolt getting that tire off. I was impressed,, it had a good bearing, good brake shoes and an actuator.

Hey,, at least I have 2 wheels for somewhat braking, right? Onward HO,, we cripple along the side of highway with flashers. All I can hear is grind ,scrape rumble,growl, Knowing this is not going as planned. Hey,wait a minute,,, Hey Good sam? yea, I need RV 5th wheel towed about 20 miles. Oh you can,,, great,,, gave em location and waited a LONG 6 hrs for billy bob leroy to show up with a 3/4 ton ford pickup, that could barely pull its own weight to show up.He looked over the situation and said he cant tow it cuz the trailer doesnt have front wheels.. Ummm can you say umm DOI? No kidding Einstien.

I call Good Sam again and explained the situation in detail AGAIN. So another 3 hrs sitting,,, with Bill Bob, cuz he wanted to get paid for doing nothing. Another wrecker shows up,, a Flat bed. REALLY?

That driver gets out and says,, umm the trailer is to long and mite be a little to tall.. I again had to say, Ya think?. Mr. Einstien?..Ok, Ive wasted enough time with lack of directions for wrecker service. paid each of the drivers $40 bucks for wasting my time, which I will get reimburesed later for. I cripple the trailer into a po-dunk sleepy town and they had a good year service center. I can't recall the town, but those guys in there fixed everything all purdy and correctly I was very impressed,, even took them to local buffet for dinner on me.

Found out when they put new tires on,, the *factory tires were low quality CAR tires with 4 ply sidewalls.

Got the 5th wheel delivered and the owner is STILL argueing with RV manufacturer and Dealer for such neglect of workmanship. Its been over a year and he still hasnt resolved the expenses incurred from pick up to his home.PLUS repairs.

This is another reason I won't buy a NEW RV.. Give me an old dinosaur and Im like a kid in a candy store.

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Comment by Pat Daly on June 8, 2014 at 11:13pm

Pretty frightening it is what buffalo dung they sell to newbies... and somehow get away with it. Mit a killed someone who didn't know what they were doing. Good think LK was on the job towing that tin can down the highway...

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